12 Best Business Books for 2024

Everyone started 2024 differently; some of you probably celebrated wildly, others more quietly. No matter how you celebrated, it’s a good idea to start the new year by updating your physical or digital library. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best business books to read in 2024.

Some of these are recent releases. Others are books from a few years ago, but in today’s reality seem very relevant. If you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, we encourage you to do it this year. One inspirational book per month — are you up to the challenge? 😊

The Best Books for More Than Just for Entrepreneurs

The past year has seen another galloping advance in technological change, this time under the umbrella of artificial intelligence. AI is changing business, the work environment, bringing new opportunities and… raising many concerns. So, in our list of the best business books to read, we couldn’t miss any that explain the issues surrounding artificial intelligence in an accessible way. You can also read about some of the trends in AI on our blog 😉.

We haven’t forgotten about the best books for business leaders either, as they must handle the rapidly changing reality. After all, it’s challenging to run a business if you don’t understand both the new opportunities that technology brings and how to manage people through it.

The list also includes an interesting and refreshing item on digital transformation, a topic that has been at the core of Unity Group’s operations for more than 20 years. You will not be surprised to learn that the topic of digital transformation has also been eagerly embraced by artificial intelligence.

Whether you are a business owner, a manager, or are simply looking for the best books for business success, this list is sure to have something for you.

 

1 / The Digital Mindset: What It Really Takes to Thrive in the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI. P. Leonardi, T. Neeley

This is a must-read for anyone trying to find their way in the dark in today’s twisted reality. The authors cover topics that are worth becoming more familiar with, such as digital presence, analytics, statistics, cybersecurity, and the need to experiment or prepare for constant change.

Of particular interest to leaders may be Chapter 7, which addresses the digital transformation of companies. There you will find advice on how to do it, what can go wrong, and how to prepare the organization for change.

The book may not cover all the issues in great detail, but it is an excellent starting point that can indicate interesting fields for further exploration.

2 / Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI. E. Lamarre, K. Smaje, R. Zemmel

As the authors write in the introduction, “89% of companies have launched a flavor of digital transformation. But they only captured 31% of the expected revenue lift and realized just 25% of total expected cost savings”.

Many entrepreneurs and leaders understand the role and benefits of digital transformation and the use of artificial intelligence in business. What’s harder to figure out is how to do it. It is this gap that the authors of “Rewired” aim to fill.

As you would expect from McKinsey, the publication is saturated with data, charts, IT architecture diagrams, and checklists, but these are only meant to help you understand the subject better and apply the knowledge in practice.

All those responsible for digital transformation in companies, managers and C-level employees should pick up this book.

Unity Group Rules of Transformation

3 / Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers, Ch. Heath

Although the business world is based on numbers, as humans we don’t have a head for numbers. 2, 3 and 5 are easy for us to understand. One hundred thousand, one million, one billion, however, even though we know how many zeros they contain, are just “a lot” to our brains. Yet, we need numbers and data to make better decisions. The ability to present numbers in understandable ways is the key to convincing employees to make changes or management to increase the budget for certain activities.

More than 30 number-telling techniques included in that practical guide will help anyone (even those who always got As in math 😉 ) to explain numbers in a more approachable and understandable way. Knowing the conclusions of the data is not enough. A real superpower is being able to present them in a way that everyone can follow.

4 / The Coming Wave. Technology, Power and the Twenty-first Century’s Greatest Dilemma, M. Suleyman

The co-founder of DeepMind and Inflection AI recently published a book about the impact of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering on our lives. Unfortunately, society has not yet fully grasped how powerful these changes can be. They can improve our quality of life, but they can also bring negative phenomena, such as the spread of misinformation or the loss of jobs.

The unforeseen consequences of new technologies are implicitly built into them. This was the case with the invention of the printing press, the phonograph, dynamite… The author argues that this time the unanticipated effects may be even more powerful. That’s why regulations are necessary, even if they won’t solve all the problems.

You will not find clear answers to all questions related to the development of artificial intelligence in this business book. The author encourages readers to talk, to ask questions, to express doubts, and to try to grasp the potential benefits and risks of emerging technologies.

5 / Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It. A. Azhar

Another interesting text on artificial intelligence and other topics, written by an entrepreneur, business strategist and investor. Azhar describes exponential technologies, their emergence and impact on society. The author looks at monopolistic technology giants, geopolitics, conflicts… There is also a rather optimistic reflection on automation in the labor market. Instead of prophetic visions, Azhar tries to present in a rational way the opportunities that automation can bring. These are not only new jobs (although it is unclear what quality they will be), but also an opportunity for companies to become more competitive.

Azhar’s book is a balanced voice in the discussion about the impact of technology on our lives, and a respite from sensationalist media headlines.

6 / Tomorrowmind. Thriving at Work with Resilience, Creativity and Connection – Now and in an Uncertain Future, G. Kellerman, M. Seligman

The authors are experienced scientists dedicated to the science of psychological well-being, and they aim to prepare us for the world “increasingly controlled by machines”. They note that we usually discuss the so-called future of work, which will change business, but we should also ask how the future will change us. The writers analyze the current social and work environment and the challenges we all face, such as the threat of unemployment, stress, social isolation, business models that are disrupted overnight, and so on.

Readers should be aware that the skills mentioned in the book are difficult to develop overnight and require constant practice. The five psychological superpowers will be critical for the XXI century workplace. These are: resilience and cognitive ability, meaning and mattering, rapid rapport to build social support, prospection, creativity, and innovation. Or PRISM, if you prefer snappy acronyms for better memorization.

We encourage you to discover all of these Tommorowmind superpowers in detail in this inspiring business book.

Unity Group Rules of Transformation - Data Correlations

7 / Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, A. Rönnlund, H. Rosling, O. Rosling

We know this is not the newest business book on the market, so why is it in this compilation? In an age of information overload, fake news, and increasing polarization, the art of critical thinking is more important than ever. Hans Rosling, together with his son and daughter-in-law, encourages the reader to be curious and humble, to be able to admit ignorance and to be open to changing one’s mind in the face of facts.

The author guides the reader through the 10 principles of factfulness, which are designed to help us evaluate reality in a more realistic and balanced way. It probably doesn’t need to be explained to anyone why this is so essential, both in everyday life and in business.

8 / Future Skills, B. Marr

What skills and competencies are critical in the digital world? Bernard Marr tries to answer this question by describing the 20 most critical skills in our increasingly digital world. Whether you are a business owner, manager, leader or employee, it is worth paying attention to which skills will be key in the future.

Among other things, the author recommends building digital skills, and it’s not necessarily about suddenly making everyone a programmer. But it is important to understand what benefits and opportunities technology brings and how it can be used, if only to build a company’s competitive advantage. Marr encourages reading, watching, and listening – in short, anything that can help develop digital skills.  (We’ll be humbly adding our blog to that list 😉 )

In addition, in this valuable business book, you will read about critical thinking, learning to analyze data, the need to deal with cognitive biases, emotional intelligence (EQ), and many other skills worth investing in for yourself, your employees, and … your children.

9 / Thinking, Fast and Slow, D. Kahneman

It’s already a classic, and while we know not everyone has gotten to it (several hundred pages can be daunting)… it’s really worth it! After reading Kahneman, it can be difficult to trust your judgment. Some people even find themselves invaded by philosophical questions about the nature of free will.

Our minds are lazy, seeking easy explanations, and making quick decisions even when there is not enough information to act rationally. It is useful to be aware of cognitive errors and how they affect our functioning. That way, the next time you make an important decision, you may be able to pause, ask additional questions, and consider whether the data you have was selected to fit a thesis.

10 / Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations, N. Forsgren, J. Humble, G. Kim

A business book for executives and business owners who are investigating how to make IT projects more efficient.

An important piece of the “digital transformation” puzzle is implementing the right technologies, platforms and software. Ideally, these implementations do not disrupt the business and allow normal operations not only during the implementation of new tools, but also during their updates or changes. The authors explain in an accessible way the issues related to good software development practices and describe the continuous delivery or lean management approaches known in the IT industry.

If you want to understand what IT project development should look like, it’s worth grabbing this book and organizing your knowledge. It will be helpful when working with partners to deliver IT solutions.

11 / Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People), A. Gallo

An extremely practical book that provides ready recipes for dealing with difficult types of co-workers. The author cites data that 94% of people have worked with a toxic person in the past 5 years. Another American study says that one in three people resign from their job because of an annoying or arrogant coworker.

Unity Group - Rules of Transformation - Pizza

Every manager knows how much time it can take to resolve interpersonal conflicts. It is an outrageous waste of time, resources, and money. Amy Gallo reports that the quality of internal relationships accounts for 70% of the difference between the performance of the best and worst teams. So, from a business perspective, there is a lot to fight for, and it should be in every leader’s interest to build a team culture that supports business goals and employee well-being.

You’ll find the practical advice some new solutions for dealing with difficult employees, so it’s a book you can always turn to for tips and advice. Although, of course, we keep our fingers crossed that such situations are few and far between 😉.

12 / Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First, R. Charan, D. Barton, D. Carey

The authors argue that companies should put human capital and talent management at the forefront of their strategy. C-level people who care about 2% of key employees (which of course doesn’t mean that the others don’t need to be cared for 😉 ) and advanced technologies in HR departments help realize the talent management strategy. The authors describe the 3 aspects mentioned above and their role in creating effective and efficient organizations.

Which Business Book Will You Add to Your Reading List?

This concludes our list of recommended best business books for 2024. We hope our list inspires you to read in the coming year, and that every page you read broadens your horizons.

Of course, reading business books is just the beginning.

As you put each book back on the shelf (or turn off your e-reader or audiobook 😉 ), think about how you’ll use the knowledge you’ve gained to benefit yourself, your company, and your team in the future. What changes, big or small, will you make in 2024? Fingers crossed that all your plans come to fruition.

 

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